"Ok, your turn" he said with another grin.
"Why are you so nice, even though we just met?" she asked, still a faint blush on her face. "I could be a really mean person for all you know."
"I don't know. You seem trustworthy. I...like you." he replied, unsure of himself.
"You... like... me..." She stared at him in total shock. Liked her? Just as an aquaintance, or as a friend, right? "Oh."
"Yeah you're really cool and nice and....stuff. Anyway, do you have any family like back home?" he asked.
Stuff? She looked down at the table again, clasping her hands together. "Yeah. My mom and my brother, Noah."
"Cool. Your turn I guess." he replied.
She chewed on her lip. "Do you have a girlfriend back home?"
"Well I had a fiance but she died in a car crash" he replied grimly.
"O-oh..." Nothing about this boy's life seemed very pleasant... "I'm sorry."
"Eh, I guess I've gotten over it. So how was your life before they sent you here with me?" he asked, full of curiosity.
She shrugged lightly. "Pretty normal, I guess... I lived in an apartment in New York, worked weekends at a cafe... I had a dog, Lilly. Cutest thing ever. I love her to death." She sighed. "How about you? I get the feeling it wasn't as boring as mine..."
"Well, my parents died when I was young but I persevered, made a life for myself. I found love with my fiance but I lost that too. Then my only brother passed away form a heart attack with his wife and i took their daughter in. I already had the burdens of a student loan and now a child. So i took up this job to pay for that. Not for fame or fortune or whatever" he replied, his usual smile replaced with a blank face.
So tragic... Mikel almost wanted to cry, opening her mouth slightly to reply, but no words would come out. She couldn't even say 'I'm sorry' this time. She simply stared down at her hands. Nothing she could say could help this.
He reached out and squeezed her hand. "Hey it's alright, you didn't know and well frankly it wasn't your fault. It wasn't mine either but life will be the way it wants. Don't worry ok?" he said with a big smile.
How on earth could he be smiling right now? She stared at him, then at their joined hands. His was bigger than hers, and warm. "Sorry, I just..." She sighed. "Okay."
"Good, now it's your turn" he said, making no move to pull his hand away. It felt so right, he didn't even notice it.
"U-um..." She glanced at his hand, still on hers, and blushed. "Well... Why are you holding my hand?" she asked, giving a nervous laugh.
"Oh, I'm sorry" he said quickly, and he pulled away. "I didn't even notice" he said with a tinge of red on his cheeks.
"Oh, no, no!" she said quickly, her blush becoming darker. "It's not... ah... It's not that I didn't like it, it's just... um... I'm not used to that, that's all..." Ugh, she probably sounded like a total idiot right now.